Union workers will go on strike on November 30, it was announced today, as Brendan Barber warned the public to expect the biggest action for a decade.
Up to three million workers, ranging from firefighters and school dinner ladies, to social workers and driving test examiners, are set to take part in the action, including stoppages, meetings, rallies and joint events with community groups.
The walk out, a day after the Chancellor makes his autumn statement on the economy, will herald months of industrial unrest in a major challenge to the Government.
Ministers accused unions of "rushing" into action while negotiations were continuing, and business leaders urged the Government to "stick to its guns" in the face of the threatened disruption to public services.
One union leader said the action would not be just one day, but would run "through the winter, into next year and following the legislative programme right into the summer".
More than 20 unions are set to be involved in the action, including those representing council workers, NHS staff, teachers, civil servants, firefighters and nurses in secure hospitals. more